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5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy

A running dog
Dogs are wonderful companions and provide their owners with a lot of love and joy. If you have recently gotten a dog, you probably already consider him a member of your family. To keep your furry family member around as long as possible, it is important to take good care of his health.
Here are five effective ways to keep your dog healthy.
Do Not Let Your Dog Get Too Heavy
While chubby dogs may look adorable, they are not healthy. Overweight dogs are at risk of developing several health conditions, including diabetes, pancreatitis, and high blood pressure, just to name a few. If your dog looks like he has gained a few pounds recently, it may be time to put him on a diet. Reduce your dog's kibble portions by 15 to 20 percent and give him healthy snacks such as carrots or apples.
In addition, exercise your dog for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day. Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or play catch with him in the backyard. If your pooch has issues with his joints, swimming may be a better exercise for him.
Know Which People Foods Are Dangerous to Dogs
Before you give your pooch food off your plate, make sure it is not toxic to dogs. There are certain people foods that are not safe for dogs to eat. Chocolate, for example, contains methylxanthines, which can lead to panting, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and other unpleasant side effects. Other foods that are toxic to dogs include avocados, macadamia nuts, onions, and garlic. 
Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian Regularly
Even if your dog looks and acts healthy, you should still take him in for regular veterinary checkups. A veterinarian will check your dog for signs of disease and injury that you may have missed. For example, he or she may listen to your dog's heart to determine if he has a heart murmur. 
How often you take your dog to see a veterinarian will depend on his age. If your dog is between the ages of 1 and 7, you should take him for yearly checkups. If your dog is older, two checkups per year are recommended.
Do not Neglect Your Dog's Teeth
Dogs can develop gum disease and other dental health problems just like humans can. If these dental issues are not addressed promptly, they can cause heart disease and other life-threatening conditions. A good way to prevent these issues from happening in the first place is to regularly brush your dog's teeth using a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for canines. Your dog will probably not like it at first, but he may get used to it over time.
Feeding your dog dry food and giving him chew toys will also help keep his teeth healthy.
Beware of Hot Temperatures
Many dogs can't tolerate extreme heat, so watch over your pooch carefully during the hot months. Take him for walks in the early morning and evening and make sure he always has access to drinking water. Never leave your dog in a parked car. The inside of a car can get hot very fast, putting your dog in danger of heat stroke.
If your dog shows signs of overheating, such as heavy panting and pale gums, be sure to take him to an animal hospital as soon as possible.
If you follow these useful tips, you can reduce your dog's chances of developing chronic health conditions and improve his quality of life. If you have any other questions about keeping your dog healthy, you contact Panda Animal Clinic.

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